|Clinton: stubbornly supporting|
a pipeline which will almost
certainly poison the US's most
For the second time in a year, the State Department has issued an environmental impact statement about the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry diluted bitumen — an acidic crude oil — from the tar sands of northern Alberta to the Texas Gulf Coast.
And for the second time in a year, the Environmental Protection Agency has excoriated the State Department for the inadequacy of its assessment.
The department...must demonstrate that it can be an honest broker — appraising the pipeline on the merits, not because of politics or pressure from the Canadian government, Big Oil and the industry's friends in Congress.
...Keystone XL would cross sensitive terrain where a spill of diluted bitumen would be especially damaging, including the porous Sand Hills of Nebraska and the shallow Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies much of the Midwest with water.
The risks are real. An earlier pipeline — carrying tar sands oil to the Midwest and built by TransCanada, the company planning to build Keystone XL — has had several spills, including recent ones in North Dakota and Kansas... And, the agency notes, both of the environmental assessments failed to consider alternative routes.
...We oppose this pipeline for several reasons besides its threat to the aquifer... The extraction process also destroys precious boreal forests, pollutes regional water supplies and creates substantially more greenhouse gases than conventional crude, though Canada insists it is making significant progress toward reducing emissions.